Random guy: “So, you’ve got a Bible there…cool….I’m a christian too!”
Random guy: “Yes, and you know what my favorite book is? ”
Me: “Which one?”
Random guy: “Song of Songs” *gross wink*
When “episodes” like this one happen, often times we wonder what a true man of God looks like. After all, who you decide to be with in marriage is probably the second most important decision you’re going to make in your life (the first one is accepting Christ as your Savior, of course).
It is wise to ask God for counsel and discernment as to who that man is going to be.
Beware of impostors
As you are in the peak of your youth, take heed for impostors. The devil is subtle and knows your weak spots.
If one of them is romanticism, he will attempt to bring men into your life that have an appearance of holiness, but are not really walking with the Lord. A relationship where God is not the center will most likely end up with you growing away from Him instead of cultivating a deeper understanding of the Lord.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14, we are warned from our involvement with non-christians: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Before you think that is too harsh, look at it this way:
Imagine you are a songwriter. Your life is music, and your passion is writing songs (you literally LIVE and BREATHE for music). Often times, this means staying up long hours composing the melodies, lyrics and rhythms and going to far-off places to play. You then meet a man who appears also interested in music. You two “click”. Before you know it, you are married.
Now as it turns out, this man does not really like music at all. He doesn’t understand your long practice hours, makes fun of your songs and does not encourage you from playing in different places. On the contrary, he believes your love for music is silly. He thinks that is fake, a fad.
Or maybe he’s fine with you liking music, but does not really have or long to embrace, study or cultivate a love for it himself. The way you say music moves you does not mean anything to him. He doesn’t understand.
Whenever you write a good song and want to show it to him, he is not thrilled. He gets bored when you talk about music. Your married life consists of not being able to share your passion with your husband. He can’t relate. He might say that he likes music, but his actions speak otherwise. You can’t share the thing you love the most with your husband.
That sounds like it’s a match made in heaven, right?
I don’t think so.
You see, it is the same with Christianity. If your passion is God, you want to constantly be talking and thinking about Him. You want your actions to work for His glory, as well as your words and every decision you make. You long for prayer, worship and service. You want every part of your life to be centered on Him – including your marriage.
1 Corinthians 2:14 explains: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Not being able to pray, work in ministry or worship together with the person you’re going to be with the rest of your life is a sad thing to accept, and it is bound to many hardships and frustrations in your marriage.
Marriage, after all, is meant to glorify God, and men are to be the spiritual leaders of the household (Ephesians 5:23).
A true man of God
So, what does a true man of God look like? With this world that we live in, ARE there ANY actual men of God? What is this rare breed?
Thankfully, the Bible gives us plenty of good pictures of true men of God. These pictures help us have discernment and make it easier to identify just that. For this study, we’ll look into the book of Ruth, chapter 2-4, and focus on a man named Boaz.
This post is NOT meant to encourage you to “look” for this man, but being able to identify him. We are NOT called to look or pursue (read my post on marriage and what we ARE supposed to do by clicking here). When a man does pursue you, then these are just some of the characteristics that will enable you to identify red flags as well as good attributes of a true man of God.
Ok, back to Boaz.
I like Boaz.
First and foremost, Boaz was a man of God. His relationship with the Lord is evident throughout the whole book! In verse 4, he arrives from Bethlehem to his land. The first thing He does? He blessed the workers in the field:
Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”
“The Lord bless you!” they answered.
In this verse alone, we can see the following characteristics:
- Boaz showed humility (even though he had a high position as owner of the land, he did not look down on the harvesters, but blessed them).
- Boaz showed cheerfulness (note the exclamation point at the end of his greeting? I can picture him with a huge smile on his face as he said that!).
- Boaz blessed others and others blessed him. His kindness was contagious!
- Boaz loved the Lord and was not ashamed of expressing his faith (even in the details, such as a simple greeting, he mentioned the Lord).
In verse 5, 11 and 12, he takes notice of Ruth. He sees that she is, also, a woman of noble character. He saw not the things that were superficial, but saw her heart. He even recognizes that she took refuge on the Lord alone (“May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” v.12).
On the next few verses, we see that he blessed her as well.
- He offered Ruth protection (v.9) (v.22)
- He offered Ruth provision (v.14) and was generous toward her (v.16)
- He comforted and encouraged Ruth (v.13).
- He understood the value of a family, and even took notice and cared for Ruth’s mother-in-law (chapter 3, v.17).
- He respected the law, and wanted the best for Ruth, even if it meant her not being with him (chapter 4, v.1-10).
Eventually, towards the end of the book, we see that Ruth and Boaz got married. Their marriage was a HUGE blessing to everyone and it glorified God (chapter 4, v. 11-22).
The world is going to want to lower our standards when it comes to relationships. Nevertheless, don’t settle. Don’t relent.
Did you write all of Boaz’s qualities down? They sure are a lot!
In a nutshell:
Relationship with God / complete devotion to Him / put God first, led to:
- Kindness towards others
- Not ashamed of expressing his faith
- Comforter and Encourager
- Understands value of family
- Respects the law
- Wants the best for spouse / girlfriend / etc.
- Looks beyond the superficial
- Has discernment
The qualities presented in Boaz are just a picture of what God can do with a man when he decides to give his life to the Lord.
Now, that doesn’t mean we have to expect the perfect man!!
Something we can learn from this story is that Boaz was centered on the Lord. As a result, God shaped his qualities and character. Boaz was constantly talking and thinking about the Lord.
You see, all these qualities (kindness, generosity, etc) stemmed from Boaz’s relationship with God. It is possible that you meet men who have some of these characteristics, but don’t really have a relationship with the Lord. To that, you have to understand – once again – that we don’t live our lives for our own glory, but for God’s. Your “works” are not enough. God IS goodness. The glory belongs to Him.
If you meet a man who is trying to be good, but does not desire to glorify God through his actions, he is NOT a follower of the truth, no matter how amazing he seems to be. Before all of these characteristics and qualities comes putting God first. If you want your marriage to glorify God, both of you need to be at the feet of Jesus.
Is the man that is pursuing you seeking to become a “man after God’s heart”?
Is he letting God transform him into a true man of God?
Does he portray some of these characteristics?
Is he able to be a provider for your family?
Is he able to lead you spiritually?
Does he make you want to get closer to the Lord?
But wait…I’m not being pursued!
So, what if most of these qualities fit a man you already know? You read through the post and immediately had a mental picture of that one guy.
One problem? He’s “just not that into you”.
One word: STOP.
Boaz took notice of Ruth. In chapter 3 v.18, it even says he couldn’t stop thinking about her! When it came to helping Ruth, Naomi said that Boaz couldn’t “rest” or sleep until he had settled things in Ruth’s favor!
I once read this online and found it to be very true:
“Every woman’s prince charming shares this one trait: He is crazy about her. If he wasn’t crazy about you enough to pursue you, then he is not your dream man: no matter how amazing he is. What you need most from a man is to be loved and cherished, and if he is not crazy about you, he won’t naturally feel propelled to love and cherish you, even if you someone did manage to get his attention. If you have no place in his heart, then he has no right to enter your mind. ”
But maybe you haven’t met ANY men like this. You are sort of discouraged and wonder if it is worth the wait.
Don’t focus on any man but the Lord. Be still. Ruth went through a period of preparation and sacrifice before she even met Boaz (to read my post on what Ruth was focusing on prior to this, click here).
Like my pastor once said: focus on being Mrs. Right instead of looking for Mr. Right!